Looking to gain that ‘edge’ during your next weekend ride? Want to move to the head of the pack during your next competition? Then look no further than your neighbor’s vegetable garden because beetroots have been showing some impressive results as a sports nutrition powerhouse! A June 2011 clinical trial of 9 club level male cyclists in the United Kingdom, half were given 2 cups (500ml) of beetroot juice two and half hours before a 4km and 16km time trial. The results were impressive! The cyclists who consumed the beetroot juice gained a whopping 2.8% and 2.7% increased in power output at the same VO2 output. That translates into more miles and crucial minutes off your time trial. Beetroots are also a great source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, as well as being used as a liver tonic in Chinese Medicine to cleanse the liver. Get to your local juice bar and leave your training partners in the dust on your next sprint!
Dr Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS
- Lansely KE, Winyard PE, et al. Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jun;43(6):1125-31
- Bailey.S, Fulford, J. et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol 109: 135–148, 2010
- Pitchford, P, 2003. Healing With Whole Foods, 3rd Ed. North Atlantic Publishers, USA.